ST. LOUIS – Insurance giant State Farm reports Missouri and Illinois have seen a sharp increase in catalytic converter thefts in the past year, part of a larger trend across the country. Both states are in the top 10 for theft claims.
A catalytic converter controls exhaust emissions from a vehicle. They’re typically located beneath the vehicle as part of the exhaust system.
The devices contain small amounts of precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Thieves can make between $50 and $875 per converter depending on the type of device and its precious metal content. Unfortunately, it can cost vehicle owners several thousand dollars to make repairs for these thefts.
State Farm collected data on customer claims for catalytic converter thefts from mid-2020 to mid-2021 for the ranking.
According to that data, catalytic convert theft claims jumped 293% nationally, from 4,500 claims to 18,000 claims.
California led the nation in catalytic convert theft, with more than 6,400 theft claims filed to State Farm.
Missouri ranked seventh in the nation in thefts. The Show Me State experienced a sevenfold increase in catalytic convert thefts to State Farm, going from 61 claims in 2020 to 467 in 2021. The total payout for those claims was more than $620,000.
Missouri’s neighbor to the east, Illinois, ranked fourth nationally in catalytic converter thefts, with a total of 997 theft claims. That’s a 60% increase over the prior year. It adds up to approximately $1.5 million in paid claims.